Teacher pleads guilty to having sex with students - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teacher pleads guilty to having sex with students

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Cindy Clifton Cindy Clifton
Action News 5's Justin Hanson speaking with Clifton's husband.  Courtesy: The Leader Action News 5's Justin Hanson speaking with Clifton's husband. Courtesy: The Leader
COVINGTON, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The West Tennessee teacher accused of having sex with students pleaded guilty to the crimes in court Thursday.

Cindy Clifton was a teacher at Crestview Middle School, when investigators said she performed sex acts on 10 students ranging in age from 14 to 17. She performed these acts in the classroom, and inside her home.

Cindy Clifton's guilty plea included 15 counts of aggravated statutory rape, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to minors, and aggravated statutory rape by authority figure.

A total of 11 victims were identified during an investigation. Clifton was accused of having sex with 7 of those victims.The other four were given alcohol.

All of them were Clifton's students at Crestview Middle School in Covington.

She will serve an 11 year sentence, consisting of three years in prison and 8 years probation.

"Regardless of innocence or guilt knowing you're going to serve a lengthy sentence like this weighs heavy on you," said Clifton's attorney, Blake Ballin.

"Our overriding concern as prosecutors was to protect and shield the victims enduring what would have been a very public trial, being victimized all over again," said D.A. Mike Dunavant.

Action News 5's Justin Hanson spoke with Clifton's husband Thursday, and he said the worst part of this ordeal is having to tell his daughters. But the best thing for him to do right now in public is to say nothing at all.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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